What are prepayment meters?

Prepayment meters, also known as pay as you go meters, enable you to pay for your gas and electricity before you use it.

You can load money onto your meter using a card or key, which is then spent as the gas and electricity is consumed in the home. The card or key is inserted into the meter fitted within your property.

Our Customer Service Centre advisors can talk you through the process if you need help or more information. Call us on 0333 103 9053 (calls charged at your standard network rate).

What are the advantages of prepayment meters?

  • A prepayment meter could help you budget your energy costs and keep track of how much you’re spending.
  • A prepayment meter could help you get an electricity or gas supply if you have a poor credit history or have had difficulty paying your energy bills in the past.
  • A prepayment meter can be set up to pay off any previous debt at a fixed amount per week.
  • You could build up credit during warmer periods to help you deal with the winter.
  • Prepayment meters provide emergency credit if you can’t get to the shops — but bear in mind that this has to be paid back and the normal credit topped up to get back on supply.

What are the disadvantages of prepayment meters?

  • You must be able to get to a retail outlet to put credit on your key or card.
  • You must keep your meter in credit or your supply will stop.
  • In winter, when it’s cold and dark, you’ll need more credit to keep your home warm and lit.
  • If you want to remove your prepayment meter, we may do a credit search and you will be charged for the costs incurred of exchanging the meter.
  • If you have a disability or have difficulties with your sight, you may find prepayment meters difficult to use.
  • Prepayment can be more expensive than other payment methods.

How do I operate my prepayment meter?

You need to buy credit for your prepayment meter at a number of outlets:

  • Gas customers can top-up at any PayPoint outlet. Find your nearest here.
  • Electricity customers can top up at any Post Office, PayPoint or PayZone outlet.
  • Hand your key or card to the shop assistant and ask for a top-up to the value that you want — full pounds only, with a minimum of £1 for electricity and £1 for gas.
  • Always ask for and keep your receipt in case of disputes.
  • Transfer the credit to your meter as soon as possible by inserting your card or key directly into the meter. It should show how much you have added and the total credit in place.
  • You should only use the key or card supplied to you by Economy Energy.

What do I do if my meter stops working?

  • If you have charged your key or card and the meter won’t accept the credit, try cleaning it with a dry cloth and reinsert it. If that doesn’t work, call us on 0333 103 9053 (calls charged at your standard network rate).
  • If you have no gas and/or electricity, call us on 0333 103 9053 and we’ll visit you to put the problem right.
  • If you are classed as a vulnerable customer, we will visit you within:
    • 4 hours if you contact us between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays)
    • 4 hours if you contact us on Saturday between 9am and 4pm If you let us know outside these hours, we’ll call before midday, the next working day.

Please note: if we find the problem is caused by you, for example insufficient credit, you will be charged for the visit.

How do I reset my prepayment meter?

We can usually do this remotely for you and if there are no problems, we’ll only visit you occasionally to read your meter — but we need to be able to access your meter at all reasonable times.

We also reserve the right to make changes to your meter remotely in view of any debt or prepayment circumstances.

How do I have a prepayment meter removed?

If you want to change your prepayment meter to a credit meter, there will be a charge and credit checks to ensure that you’re not getting into debt.

Before you think about changing your meter, make sure it is the right choice for you.

Can I have my meter moved due to my vulnerability?

If you get into the position where you are finding it difficult to top up your credit due to the location of the meter or a change in your circumstances, we will (if safe and practicable to do so) change or move your meter at no cost to you.